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Sunday, February 2, 2014


By Caroline Clemmons

So many books, so little time. As an author, hundreds of my friends and acquaintances are authors of fine books. My already long TBR list grows every day. Thank goodness for my Kindle Fire. I'm sure you who love to read have a similar problem.

But do you ever reread books? Among my friends, we’re divided about evenly in this. I’m in the group that rereads favorites. Why?

Each time I read a favorite book I learn something new. How the author phrases description, the emotions evoked, and the setting not only entertain me, but teach me for my own writing. Each read reminds me why this book is one I treasure. I embrace the characters and their story again.

The characters in these books are old friends who I love to revisit. The authors excel in writing a memorable book. I dissect the most memorable passages to discover what about this book made it unforgettable.
Here are some of those I reread:

PRINCE CHARMING – As with most of Julie Garwood’s historicals, this one begins in Great Britain. But Taylor Stapeleton and Lucas Ross move quickly to the United States and their frantic race to rescue Taylor's nieces and escape a truly evil villain.

FOR THE ROSES – Julie Garwood takes a group of orphans from New York west to establish a home. Imagine children caring for an infant and surviving on their own as they escape pursuit. Not only surviving, but thriving to establish a dynasty.

THE PROMISE OF JENNY JONES – Maggie Osborne creates the opposite of most governess-type stories when Jenny Jones—a tall, gangly, red-headed muleskinner—give her promise to a dying woman. Against seemingly insurmountable odds, Jenny Jones safely delivers her young ward to the girl’s father to fulfill her promise.  

LORD PERFECT – Loretta Chase always uses vivid descriptions, but I believe this one is her finest. Bathsheba Wingate is a delightful heroine and the perfect foil for Lord Perfect, Benedict Carsington. Ms Chase’s description of the first meeting is especially priceless.

TO KISS A TEXAN – Jodi Thomas. Wes McClain’s story and that of the woman he rescues touches my heart each time. I have long wondered why women captured by Indians and recovered ceased to be human to bigoted pioneers.

Louis L'Amour
FALLON – For some reason, this Louis L’Amour story relaxes me each time I read it. But that goes for all Louis L’Amour stories. The man was one of America’s most gifted storytellers. My husband and I have each of his books from the Louis L’Amour Book Club and reread them occasionally.

MUCH ADO ABOUT MARSHALS – Like all Jacquie Rogers’s books, this one makes me smile while she leads me through a twisting plot. Cole is one of my favorite heroes. By the way, that's her nephew on the cover. She has a new cover, but this is the one on the book I have.

OUT OF THE DARK – Geri Foster writes great romantic suspense filled with sexy adventure. This one, her first of the Falcon series, is my favorite. I can easily picture Geri as the heroine, Emily.

Among other authors I reread are Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick, Nora Roberts, Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Marjorie Allingham. These authors make us believe that good triumphs over evil and people can live happily ever after. I like that. They write hope in their stories.

MOBY DICK and CRIME AND PUNISHMENT are not on the list. No, these cited are not heavy reading, although I have favorite classics also. Among them are THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO by Alexander Dumas and A TALE OF TWO CITIES by Charles Dickens. You’ll note that both of those is  romantic, although in a different context than a modern romance novel.  

Those listed as favorites are books that lighten my heart, renew my appreciation for the printed word, and confirm my belief that great writing is not limited to the classics or only in “literary” works. Great writing happens every day with thousands—maybe hundreds of thousands—of writers working alone in their writing caves or on the laptop surrounded by family.

Reading is exercise for the mind. Imagination allows us to visit anywhere in this world or another, to vicariously become any profession. It also sharpens our appreciation for the here and now.  Is it any wonder Smart Girls (and Guys) Read Romance?


  1. Thanks for a great article, Caroline. I have similar books I love to re-read and Julie Garwood is one of my fav. I've also re-read your book The Most Unsuitable Wife a dozen times. And every time I marvel at how you created such memorable characters. I just can't believe Pearl and Drake aren't real. people.

  2. Enjoyed your blog Caroline! I think we all have books we reread. That's why I have bookshelves lined with books that I just can't "let go of". And I find myself thinking about a particular character or passage and have to "look it up".

  3. We have a couple of the same keepers--I still want Maggie Osborne to go back to work! :-) I love my re-read books. Until I started putting them on my Kindle, I had to do some re-buying, too, because they were worn out.

  4. Wow, great post! I remember a few of those books. I also have my keepers that I reach for to re-read.

  5. Okay, I'm not over being mentioned on the same page with Maggie Osborne. What an awesome writer! Because of the backlog of books I have to read (I'm judging for a contest), I very seldom pick up a book I've already read. In the olden days, I'd reread a book every now and then. I do admit to rereading the first two Kincaids books. Those are so good! And I'm looking forward to reading The Most Unsuitable Courtship. Just 14 more contest books and I can get to it.

  6. Excellent post, Caroline. Yes, I have a keeper shelf. I've written about it too because I think when you re-read a book, you do find something new each time. Also, if you read a book at 23, the book "speaks" differently to you when you're 33 or 43 or beyond. Life experience changes us so we bring something different to the book.


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